Annual Study Shows Mixed Performance
Advisor headcount in the regional and community banks that partner with the third-party broker dealers declined for the third time in the past four years. While the slippage was small—1.8% —it was enough of a setback to wipe out the recruiting gains from 2021, and nullified small gains in advisor productivity, dragging down total revenue slightly.
Market conditions devalued the assets managed by the advisors. On the other hand, advisors added $13.3 million in new assets on average, the largest haul we have seen to date. But assets going out the door reduced net new assets to $8.7 million per advisor.
Advisor branch coverage—a key driver of growth—thinned out again, as there were fewer advisors to cover the branches. Referral performance was mixed, with firms providing household data reporting flat referrals, but referrals per advisor ticked down.
Advisors in regional and community banks keep hanging on to less profitable clients, despite management exhortations to cull their books. Average clients per advisor jumped 18% to 421 during the year, making it harder for advisors to go deeper with their most promising clients and putting them further from their ideal practice.
The 2022-2023 Kehrer Regional & Community Bank Study was sponsored by Ameriprise Financial Institutions Group, Athene, and Cetera Financial Institutions. Advertising support for the publication was provided by Sammons, Security Benefit, and W&S Financial. Kehrer Group and its predecessor firms have published the Regional & Community Bank Study since 2016, and similar benchmarking studies of all financial institutions since 1997.